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Miami Beach kills major convention center project


Miami Beach, with a new mandate by a new mayor, has called off a proposed $1 billion redevelopment of its convention center district, upending a years-long process that garnered international attention, star architects and an ambitious plan to transform the decades-old center and surrounding neighborhood with a hotel, shops and restaurants.

Commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday to terminate negotiations with South Beach ACE, a master development team the city had chosen in July to design and build the 52-acre project. Instead, the city will issue a new bid for only the renovation of the city-owned convention center.

The city will also scout possible locations for the development of a nearby hotel. The city hopes to pursue both projects concurrently, but separate from each other.

Previously, both the hotel and convention center renovation were considered the same project and ACE would have developed both.

Industry leaders say it’s imperative that the city bring its convention center up-to-date and add a hotel in order to stay competitive, keep hotel rooms full and shops and restaurants bustling. The city’s budget relies, in part, on tourist taxes.

More here.